The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) issued nearly $80 million in disaster food assistance in 21 parishes impacted by flooding -- with more than $48.9 million in Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits and more than $30.9 million in disaster-related benefits to regular SNAP households.
"Over the past three weeks, there were approximately 1,400 DCFS staff throughout the state dedicated to serving flood victims," said DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters. "We're committed to helping people every day. Times like these remind us how much our work matters."
DSNAP is a 100 percent federally-funded benefit program that provides food assistance for non-SNAP recipients who are eligible. due to lost income or disaster-related damages. Eligibility is based on federal guidelines regarding income, resources and disaster-related expenses during the disaster period. DSNAP is administered in Louisiana by DCFS and overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
"Just as we have in the past, we relied heavily on the assistance of our agency partners, the Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana State Police, the Office of Technology Services and other state departments," said DCFS Secretary Walters. "Each played a crucial role in ensuring DSNAP operations went smoothly."
The DSNAP program is designed and executed with safeguards in place to deter and detect fraud, including the onsite presence of DCFS Fraud and Recovery staff and the presence of federal officials. The department will pursue prosecution, restitution, and disqualification of future benefits for anyone who receives fraudulent aid.